LOS ANGELES (AP) -- Federal security officials rejected major league baseball's request to completely restrict airspace during the World Series, saying they will allow some banner-towing aircraft to fly over the ballparks.
The decision came Friday amid heightened concerns about terrorist attacks nationwide.
On Thursday, FBI Director Robert Mueller told congressional panels that terrorists could strike again soon in the United States, while the CIA said the current situation is comparable to the summer before Sept. 11.
Authorities plan extensive measures at Edison Field in Anaheim and Pacific Bell Park in San Francisco, including random searches, extra police and Coast Guard monitoring of McCovey Cove, a popular inlet where boaters fish home run balls out of San Francisco Bay.
"What used to be seen as an absolutely fun thing like an all-California World Series, from a security perspective, we look at through different eyes now," said George Vinson, special security adviser to Gov. Gray Davis. "That's been the case since Sept. 11 ... There is continual risk assessment."
The decision on flyovers by the federal Transportation Security Administration was a response to major league baseball's request to close airspace during games at both ballparks.
Baseball officials are concerned about "safety and security," said Kevin Hallinan, senior vice president of security and facilities for MLB.
Gordon Johndroe, spokesman for the national Office of Homeland Security, said there were no specific threats against the World Series.
Still, the California National Guard will deploy elite units at the ballparks to deal with possible threats involving biological, chemical or radiological weapons, said Capt. Denise Varner, a spokeswoman for the Guard.
The 22-member teams are equipped with devices that can analyze everything from air to infield dirt to detect anthrax and other hazardous materials.
On game days, the home ballpark will be closed and searched long before fans arrive. Neither stadium has metal detectors, but fans will be selectively searched for weapons and other contraband.
John Drum, director of ballpark operations at Edison Field, said there could be four times as many police and security officers on duty than during regular-season games.
At Pacific Bell Park, only 75 people at a time will be permitted to watch the game from a free, public viewing spot just outside right field. Every three innings, those fans will be asked to leave and another 75 will be allowed to enter.
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